Here are some questions to ask yourself to clarify your next steps in your career. Knowing what you want isn’t usually an immediate thing. Rather, it takes reflection and a gentle set of movements in the right direction. These questions are designed to get your mind moving in the right direction.
- Do I want to do more of what I’ve been doing?
It’s not really surprising that many people want more of what they’ve already been doing. Somehow, humans seem wired to want to stick with the things they know. Unfortunately, the pace of change and shifts in the global economy make it harder and harder to continue to do the same thing. How badly do you want more of what you already know?
- What kind of work is easily available to me?
In a few minutes (by visiting one of the national job boards), you can get a good handle on what sorts ofjobs are in the highest demand in your area. If there’s a market for s a certain set of skills, you’re sure to be able to find ready access to training. If what you want involves being where you are, you may need to get retrained. Sometimes, what you want is to be where you are.
- Am I willing to move for work?
Money, opportunity and the ability to do the thing you want to do are good reasons to consider a move. More jobs are available to people who are willing to move to get them. These days, you can’t rely on the employer to cover your expenses. So, you have to be sure this is what you want.
- How much money would I like to make?
Setting a topside goal is the only way you’ll ever attain it. What size paycheck would make you extremely comfortable? This is the top end of your range.
- How much money do I need to make?
Knowing your “number” is the key to many employment decisions. What does it cost to maintain your lifestyle. Add all of the monthly bills and living expenses. If you are considering a move, be sure to account for the cost of living differences. This is the low end of your range. You may discover that you have to go lower than your low number.
- What are my basic skills?
Forget where you’ve been working and focus on what you’re good at. Is it physical labor or conceptual stuff? Are you a planner or a doer? How is your computer literacy?
- What do I really enjoy doing?
This question may be the most important on the list. If you love doing something, turning that into your job ought to be one of the options you consider (leaving aside the mattress-tester and beer-taster positions that are mostly filled). Your hobbies and outside interests are great indicators of natural talent.
Trying to figure out what you want can produce real anxiety. That’s why so few of us have a good grasp on the question. That said, wrestling with these questions can help you navigate the parameters of your job hunt.